Conrad Liveris on why the gender pay gap needs to go.
Nothing frustrates me more than the gender pay gap.
Earlier this year it was announced that the Australian gap had widened to 1994 levels, 18.2%. In America, for every dollar a man earns a woman earns 81 cents.
The gender pay gap isn’t the only indicator of progress for women but it is certainly an important one.
Closing these gaps is a priority — for our nations, economies and businesses.
A perpetual pay gap only enflames the differences between men and women. This categorises men as bread-winners and women as supporters, when that is less and less the case.
Today the Workplace Gender Equality Agency is gathering some of the leading corporate actors to commit to closing and being accountable for the gap in their organisations. Having almost 30 CEOs come together and commit to action is a great foundation.
We all have a duty to the gender pay gap, from CEOs to those in their first managerial roles. This is not a delegable task.
There are breadths of resources at the fingertips of managers to close the gender pay gap — but maybe accountability is the best tool we have.
In times of increased discussion of gender and feminism it is easy to become complacent on systemic issues.
The gender pay gap follows women throughout their careers from their first job through to leadership and then retirement.
Managers with distinct gender pay gaps must ask themselves why they are undervaluing women’s contributions.
How many times do we have to say that women are innovative and worth supporting in the workplace? Or that staff on flexible arrangements are more productive than traditional full-time staff?
Gender equality can only be realised when the whole team is on board. This means we must work with the willing to begin with to build an adequate support base.
We are not living in Mad Men, the gender pay gap should not be widening nor should it be present.
If women’s wages grew to that of men’s, the US economy would expand by US$447 billion.
All governments are focused on effective uses of resources — but we are not using women’s talent effectively.
A rising gender pay gap says that discrimination and inequality are acceptable. It says that there are different expectations between men and women.
I am confident in closing the gender pay gap and realising gender equality. But it is more than just CEOs who can do this.
It starts with leaders and those with the capacity to inform widely — but every manager must consider their role.
The challenge has been put, gender equality is in our hands.
Information on the In Your Hands campaign can be viewed at inyourhands.org.au